Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple 川崎大師（平間寺）
Visit Kawasaki's grandest Buddhist temple
Kawasaki Daishi Heikenji Temple, better known as Kawasaki Daishi, is a Buddhist complex that looks like it is been pulled straight out of a painting.
- Beautifully ornamented Buddhist architecture
- A chance to learn more about Tantric Buddhism
- Gift shops and restaurants nearby
How to Get There
The temple is easily accessible from Kawasaki via train.
Catch the Keikyu Main Line at Keikyu Kawasaki Station and get off at Kawasaki Daishi Station. The trip from here is five minutes by foot. Kawasaki-Daishi Station is about 15 minutes from Yokohama Station on the Keikyu Main Line and Keikyu Daishi Line, and 20 or so minutes from Shinagawa Station in Tokyo on the same two lines.
A center of Tantric Buddhism
Kawasaki Daishi is the head temple for the Chisan sect of Shingon Buddhism, one of the few remaining forms of Tantric Buddhism in Japan. The large temple complex, which is nearly 900 years old, also honors Kukai, the founder of Shingon Buddhism, who lived several centuries before. A sacred image of Kukai is kept in the large main hall.
Explore the stunning hallways
The Sutra Hall is worth a visit to see the more than 1,700 volumes of hand-printed Buddhist sutras and gorgeous religious paintings produced in the Chinese style.
An especially photo-worthy structure is the brightly painted octagonal pagoda. Most pagodas in Japan have only four sides; thus, this one is an oddity.
A popular spot for New Year celebrations
Kawasaki Daishi is a popular destination for Japanese people making their hatsumode, or first visit of the year, to a Shinto shrine or Buddhist temple. Around three million people descend upon Kawasaki Daishi during the Japanese New Year holidays.
Nearby food and shopping
Nakamise, a street leading up to the temple, has several restaurants and gift shops where you can find adorable daruma dolls, which are a symbol of good fortune and tenacity in Japan.